How to Navigate the Human Side of Change Successfully

change change management emotional intelligence goals personal development Feb 11, 2021
How to Navigate the Human Side of Change Successfully

When people want to change something in their life, work, or business, they usually dive straight into things like setting goals, creating plans, and identifying how to manage all the tasks that need to be done to succeed. 

These are all an important part of creating change successfully. But equally important is the human side of change. Things like your behaviours, habits, emotions, mindset. These things all heavily influence whether you succeed or not because they have such a big impact on what you do. These are also the things most people overlook or give very little focus to when they approach creating change. 

Not giving the human side of change as much time, focus, and attention as the logistical side of change is a big (and common) mistake.  

That is because it is you who has to implement the goals. It is you who has to execute the plans. It is you who has to manage the process and do what needs to be done to create change successfully.

You can have the best goals and plans in the world, but if you don’t have the right behaviours, habits, emotional state, and mindset to go with them, your progress and the results you want to achieve are at risk.

A great way to set yourself up to navigate the human side of change successfully is to focus on improving your personal change agility levels.

I define personal change agility level as how you would rate your current level of behaviours, habits, emotions, and mindset in comparison to what you actually need them to be to achieve that specific change successfully.    

If your personal change agility level is low in relation to what is necessary to succeed and achieve specific results, you have a problem. You overcome that problem by focusing on improving your change agility levels. 

For example, let’s say there is a change you want to make but you feel racked with emotions like self-doubt and fear so you tend to procrastinate or not take action to move forward. That is likely to keep you stuck and, therefore, you are less likely to succeed.

In this example, your personal agility level is lower than you need it to be. If you focus on proactively dealing with those things you will be more likely to be more effective and take the actions that will help you create change successfully. You will increase your personal change agility levels and, therefore, also increase your chances of success.

Here’s how to get started with improving your personal change agility level so you can navigate the human side of change more effectively:

Step 1: make a list of all the behaviours, habits, emotions, and mindset patterns that you believe would help you to navigate the change you want to create more effectively.

Step 2: make a list of all the behaviours, habits, emotions, and mindset patterns that you currently have that you feel might hold you back or sabotage your progress and results. This is your current personal change agility level.

Step 3: identify the gap between where you are versus where you need to be by comparing your responses in step 1 and step 2. Does your current personal change agility level match what you need it to be to succeed? If not, you need to address that.   

Step 4: identify ways you can improve the human factors you identified in step 2 and start working on them. Your aim here is to focus on improving your change agility level in order to set yourself up to succeed.  

The bottom line:

Improving your personal change agility level by focusing on the behaviours, habits, emotional state, and mindset patterns you need to make progress and succeed is a powerful way to help yourself navigate the human side of change successfully. It will help you increase the likelihood that you will achieve the specific changes you desire.

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